Over the past two weeks, Mia the turtle has gone from trying to clean up mud off of her floor to filtering through investor profiles for the perfect business partner. Today, I had the opportunity to speak with Eva and Zach to figure out how I can make this journey insightful for Mia and (hopefully) her future fans.
One of these developments was the use of different colors and styles of fonts to indicate vocabulary words or dialogue between individuals. I wanted to help definitions stand out on the page so readers could refer to the back of the book for further explanation. For example, the term patent might be explained briefly in a dialogue between Mia and the investment banker, Heather, but it would be discussed with more examples and specific in a glossary at the end.
However, I felt that simply bolding the term would remind students of their textbooks and make reading less enjoyable. So, based upon Geronimo Stilton (below) I will be using fun, descriptive fonts to introduce each new term.
The use of changing fonts can also help in explaining the dialogue between a few individuals, as each person will speak with their own color or font style (TBD which one will be used to define the speaker). Students can know who is speaking whether it is explicitly stated before or after the quotation, or skim a page to understand the main contributors in a conversation.
I plan to have the complete draft finished by the end of the week (I am about 2/3 the way there), and then begin going back through to simplify language, create consistency in each character’s voice and add in the fun changes in font / color. After that, I will start finalizing the character drawings and scanning them into the draft.
My main concern is the drawings themselves. I find that as my story gets more complicated, there is greater need for illustrations which I might not be able to do perfectly. I might have to sacrifice some of the details on my characters so more obscure drawings (like the invention itself) do not seem out of place. I also need to figure out how / if I will still be adding backgrounds to each drawing as this might prove too time consuming.
One of my model texts, Mochi Queen, uses a style similar to how I draw cartoons right now, adding a little bit of shading to the brief illustration of what is happening instead of painting an entire background. Her art is seen below.